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A brief history


Dr. Vamık D. Volkan, M. D. is a distinguished psychiatrist and psychoanalyst renowned for his groundbreaking work in the field of large-group psychology. 

Dr. Volkan was born in 1932 on Cyprus, an island long troubled by conflict between the Turks and Greeks. He received his medical education in Turkey, and trained in psychiatry and psychoanalysis in the United States.  Dr. Volkan has dedicated his long and fruitful career to understanding the psychological underpinnings of war and war-like situations. 


A turning point came in 1977 when then President of Egypt, Anwar Sadat, went to the Knesset and turned the Middle East on its head stating that 70% of the difficulties between Arabs and Israelis was due to a “psychological wall” between them, among other factors. Following this statement the U.S. government asked the American Psychiatric Committee for Foreign Affairs to investigate this “wall” and Dr. Volkan was instrumental in these efforts. 


For over 3 decades, Dr. Volkan has been actively involved in peace initiatives in Israel, Egypt, the former Soviet Union, Croatia, Albania, Kuwait, South Ossetia and Turkey, bringing various enemy representatives together for unofficial dialogues. His new ideas about large-groups offer new strategies for peaceful co-existence. 


Dr. Volkan was a member of the International Negotiation Network under former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and an Inaugural Yitzhak Rabin Fellow, at the Rabin Center for Israeli Studies, Tel Aviv, Israel. 

Over the years Dr. Volkan has held other academic positions including Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia and Senior Erik Erikson Scholar at the Austen Riggs Center in Massachusetts. He currently works with the International Dialogue Initiative to address contemporary global issues and facilitate effective dialogue in conflicted regions of the world. 

Dr. Vamık Volkan is the author and editor of over sixty books including: 

  • Immigrants and Refugees: Trauma, Perennial Mourning, Prejudice, and Border Psychology

  • The Third Reich in the Unconscious: Transgenerational Transmission and its Consequences 

  • Large-Group Psychology: Racism, Societal Divisions Narcissistic Leaders, and Who Are We Now? 


Such work emphasizes the role of historical memory in the psychology of large groups and offers timely insight into issues of terrorism, racism, national identity, societal trauma, leader-follower relationships, and other aspects of national and international conflict. 


Dr. Volkan has received 4 nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize (2005 - 2008) with letters of support from 25 countries. His interdisciplinary approach, combining psychoanalysis, history, sociology and political science has made him a sought-after speaker.

Watch Dr. Volkan's interview with Peace Day Live.


On September 21, in honor of World Peace Day, he was interviewed by Ahmad Fawzi, Spokesperson for the United Nations. 


BLIND TRUST tells about the work of Vamık Volkan who has spent decades bringing enemy groups together for dialogue in traumatized regions of the globe.

The film recounts Volkan's journey in unofficial diplomacy working in The Middle East, Estonia, the former Yugoslavia and The Republic of Georgia. The story dramatizes the new vocabulary he has created for understanding large group psychology.


Ed Shapiro

Yale University

An amazing, moving, accessible film about the unconcious dynamics, large group identities, and shared trauma that lie behind political movements."

Ann Bennet Mix
American WWII Orphans Network 

One can see in this film a special aura around this man who has managed to witness the worst of humanity yet being faith and love to the saddest

The documentary provides an enriching experience beyond the screen by offering community screenings, complete with insightful Q&A sessions that allow viewers to delve deeper into the issues explored in the film. Additionally, enthusiasts can own a tangible piece of the documentary's impact by purchasing the DVD through Bullfrog Films, ensuring a lasting and shareable experience that transcends the boundaries of digital consumption. This commitment to diverse viewing options underscores the documentary's dedication to fostering meaningful conversations and broadening its reach within communities.

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